Play Games at My Wedding Reception?

You can add spice to your wedding reception and have great fun doing it by playing games! Of course, you’ll still have that first dance with your new spouse to the tune from when you first met. And, you’ll still get to eat from each other’s fork when you cut-the-cake.

While the bride may play games at her bridal shower with the other “girls”, games are not reserved for showers only. You can use games to encourage conversation among your guests. Games can also help in cases where you want a fully enjoyed reception, yet there are religious or other reasons for limiting your dancing or music.

There are basically three types of games that work at a wedding reception. They are: Games for Everyone, The Joke is on the Bride and/or Groom and Outdoor Games (of course for an outdoor wedding).

Games for Everyone

Pass the Buck – Play musical dollar at each table. Whoever is left holding the $1, wins the centerpiece.

Switch the Shoes – The bride and groom may hold up a shoe or garment belonging to the opposite spouse in answer to a what-if question on how they will act in married life.

On the Spot Art – Each guest is given a paper and pen and asked to draw another random guest. This works best when they don’t know beforehand the guest being drawn.

Guess the Truth – Guests are asked multiple choice questions that have been previously asked of the bride and groom. A show of hands will see how many guests are on target.

On the Spot Poetry – Each guest is given a piece of paper and a pen. The paper has the start of a poem like “Sally and Mike met at the fair…” The guests complete the poem.

Games where the Joke is on the Bride and/or Groom

*If you are the bride or groom, let your best man or a bridesmaid read these

Give Back the Keys – (This only works if the bride and groom do not yet share a home) The bride and groom is each given a basket. Announce that “Anyone who still has her house keys must give them back.” Lots of guys get up and drop keys in her basket. Only one guy and the groom’s aunt return keys to the groom’s house.

Guess the Bride – Blindfold the groom and present him with 5 barefooted persons. He must guess which feet belong to the bride. Choose anyone but the bride to be among the 5 persons. In fact, this is really funny if they are all men.

Guess the Groom – Blindfold the bride and ask her to feel 5 men’s faces to guess which belongs to the groom. Choose anyone but the groom to be among the 5 persons.

Outdoor Games

What you play will depend on where the wedding is and how the guests are attired. A game like croquet is easy to set up in a park or large backyard and is possible in semi-formal clothing.

If the wedding is very casual, a park with large grassy area may be great for Volleyball or a huge circle of folks passing a Frisbee. And limbo – with the right music – is great almost anywhere, especially for a Caribbean or beach themed reception.

Offshore Translation Agencies – Reducing Your Translation Costs

Naturally, the language centers are aware of the existing cultural differences and the possible difficulties that may arise during the process of negotiations.

The offshore translation agencies usually cooperate with other language agencies, and they will gladly assist you in finding a translator of a certain language, if they cannot offer the services of the translator themselves. Besides the quality of translations, offshore translation offices can offer cost-reduction options, just like many IT outsourcing services due to their location in low-economy countries.

As for the most common services, provided by offshore translation services, this is first of all translation, interpretation, localization, reviewing of documents in various languages. Most translators specialize in a certain area of knowledge, for example, engineering, software and IT, advertising and marketing, economy, finance, tourism, medicine and many others.

The jobs, outsourced to offshore translation offices, can be performed in a short period of time, or they can be done in a few hours. The ready made projects are forwarded to the customer using the most modern techniques, available today. Also there is a chance to communicate with an employee of an offshore translation agency, using all the possible means of communication.

The rates for the translations can be more than competitive if compared with the rates in, say, America. The rates are usually based on the per-word model; however there are offshore translation agencies, which prefer the per-page model (usually 1800 characters). You can also request a quote per book or article.

Offshore translation agencies are very handy if you plan to visit the country, in which it is located. If you are in need of a language assistant, you can also make a request to an offshore translation agency. Consider employing an offshore translation agency and see how you will benefit from it.

How Do Credit Card Companies Make Money?

Credit cards have gained much popularity in India over the last few years. Public sector banks as well as private banking institutions have come forward to launch a host of credit cards suiting customers with different types of needs. HDFC Credit Cards and SBI Card are the two companies with the largest market share. While banks are ready to offer you with a small loan in the form of credit cards, have you ever wondered how these banking institutions make money from these ventures?

The three main ways how card issuers make money is through the annual fee of the card, interest charged on late payment, penalties on skipping EMIs, etc. At the same time, they also earn from the businesses that accept these cards. Businesses are required to pay transaction fees to the banks which also makes up for significant earning of the card issuer banks.

But before we dig deeper into how they make money, let us first understand the term 'Credit Card Companies'. It is easy to get confused between credit card issuers and credit card networks. An issuer is the bank or financial institution from which you take the card. You are taking a loan from the card issuer and paying back to them. A credit card issuing company is usually a bank. On the other hand, credit card network refers to companies that process the transaction. Currently, there are three major networks in India- VISA, Master Card and RuPay. Apart from these, American Express and Discover cards can also be found.

So, when you make a transaction with your credit card, your money moves electronically from your bank through the network to the merchant's bank.

How do credit card companies make money?

As mentioned above, your bank makes money majorly from you and also from the merchants where you use the card issued by the bank to make the payment. Banks or financial institutions make money in the form of-

Fees

Banks charge different types of fees from their cardholders- some fees are to be paid by everyone whereas other types of fees are levied on condition. Let us talk about these fees and charges-

  • Annual Fees- You have to pay annual fees towards your credit card, especially when you are an elite cardholder and enjoy higher benefits than normal users. This is to be paid by all users. However, some banks may set a condition of spend based annual fee reversal scheme.
  • Cash Advance Fees- When you withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card, the bank charges a minimal fee for it which is normally correlated to the amount you withdrawal. This is also included in the card issuer's earnings.
  • Late Fees- Your card issuer charges fees from you if you delay your EMI payments. Banks make more money from late payers in the form of late fees.
  • Balance Transfer Fees- When you transfer outstanding balance from one card to another, the bank charges fees from you which again becomes its earnings.

Interest

The bank or financial institution has just gifted you a credit line. You have to pay the interest for the loan that is offered to you in the form of credit card. This interest cost adds to your expenses and is a method of earning for the banks. Interest on credit card is charged on daily basis for as long as the amount stands outstanding in your account. This is why experts always advise you to pay the total outstanding amount in full every month because interest will accrue on any amount that stands unpaid.

Let us understand this with the help of an example. Suppose the billing date is on 4th of every month and payment due date falls on 29th of every month. APR = 24%

  1. 10th March- Apparel Shopping- Rs. 5,000
  2. 13th March- Bill Payment- Rs. 2,000
  3. 19th March- Gadget Purchase (converted into 6 month EMI) – Rs. 12,000
  4. 22nd March- Dining Bill- Rs. 1,000

Now considering that the person does not have any outstanding amount from the previous bill, he will have to pay Rs. (5,000 + 1,000 + 2,000 +2000) = Rs. 10,000.

This will be the total amount due on 29th March. Now if the person chooses to pay only Rs. 6,000, the remaining Rs. 4,000 will accrue interest for each day until the amount is paid in full. Considering that the user again pays Rs. 2,000 on the 10th of April, let us see how interest cost works out-

Interest = (outstanding amount x 2 percent per month x 12 months) * (number of days) 365

In this case, the total interest charged would be Rs. 52.60 which is a total for Rs. 4,000 that lies outstanding for 11 days and Rs. 2,000 that lies outstanding for 18 days until the next payment. This is the reason why those who only pay minimum amount due tend to fall into debt soon sooner. Cardholders should also note that when an amount is outstanding in your statement, the new purchases that you make are not eligible for the interest free period. This is why interest charge is the easiest way how banks make money out of your credit card.

Interchange Fee from the Merchant

When you use your card at a merchant terminal, the merchant also pays a percentage of the amount to the bank as processing fees. This will also be added on to the bank's earnings. It usually ranges between 1 to 3 percent of the transaction value but may differ from merchant to merchant.

How to save yourself from paying too much to the bank?

Savvy customers plan their transactions and payments in a way that they have to pay the least amount to the bank. These are the habits you can adopt to cut your costs-

  • Pay your entire outstanding balance every month; just pay the minimum amount due is not a good practice.
  • Set alerts for your payment due dates to avoid missed payments which entail late fees.
  • Create an emergency fund to replace costlier options like cash advances from credit card.
  • Choose low annual fee or free credit cards and even if you select a card with high annual fee, make sure that the rewards are worth it.

Feature Stories With Heart

Feature stories have heart. Feature stories have warmth. Most of all, feature stories force a writer / reporter to evaluate the human side of a community – beyond the facts, beyond the opinions – to find the spirit of the story.

I have always favored feature stories (or soft news) as a writer because it gives me the chance to get to know people on a higher level than straight news reporting (hard news) does. Beyond that, it also forces me to work as a reporter with feelings – yes, some reporters have actual feelings.

For the past few weeks, I've evaluated a variety of types of college feature stories in preparation for a workshop I'm presenting at the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers National College Media Convention. After sifting through stacks and stacks of archives of papers, I've come to the conclusion that college newspapers are much more active to seek out the feature elements than mainstream, professional newspapers.

My students (and former students) from The Montage, have compiled heartwarming stories of life and death, fun and frolics, and service and sacrifice. Here are a few examples:

"A Day in the Life of Mary Davis:" As a regular series, my students write personality profiles, covering students, faculty, staff, locals, etc. This particular story highlights an 86-year old student still eager to learn.

"Turning Lead into Gold:" This profile provides an in-depth look at a faculty member's passions.

"Inauguration Road:" Following a road trip to the White House for Barack Obama's engagement, two of my students compiled a piece about a 1st person account of the journey itself.

"What's Brewing in St. Louis:" Beer is a priority for many college students. Recognizing this, my students compiled an in-depth centerspread on St. Louis. Louis' beer culture, including a list of "things" to do with beer.

"The Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Desire:" Fun and frolics come in all shapes and sizes as detailed in this feature about the art of tango music.

This list of stories (found at http://www.meramecmontage.com ) includes a variety of subjects, topics, and angles. Primarily, though, these stories offer readers something "different," something soft – a much-needed break from the heart-wrenching news of reductions, murders, and swine flu statistics. Even more so, they offer reporters (whether student or professional) a chance to explore more than just the facts but rather the fun-loving spirit of life.

I could spend all day listing compelling, heart-warming and entertaining features that have been written by both students and professionals, but I'd rather open my eyes and seek the next big story that could possibly touch someone else's life and in return, touch mine.